LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will present a motion at the Board’s next meeting calling for a new county wireless ordinance. His motion cites two recent Ninth Circuit rulings that give cities more leeway to deny cell tower permits or ask for alternate, “less intrusive” locations.
From the Board Agenda posted online:
Recommendation as submitted by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas: Direct the Interim Director of Planning, in coordination with the Acting County Counsel, to prepare an ordinance amending the County Code that is consistent with State and Federal law regarding the regulation of wireless telecommunication facilities, including the recent court rulings, to maintain the maximum amount of discretion allowed for controversial cases but allow for streamlined policies and permitting procedures for non-controversial projects; also take into consideration, among other things, aesthetic concerns, service gaps and needs and other relevant issues related to the permitting of wireless telecommunication facilities; direct the Interim Director of Planning to present the proposed ordinance to the Planning Commission for its review and consideration, make a recommendation to the Board on an ordinance, and report back in 90 days with a status report.
The motion itself cites the Ninth Circuit’s Sprint v. County of San Diego ruling and Palos Verdes Estates v. Sprint ruling, court interpretations Glendale has drawn on for its draft ordinance. In two recent community meetings on the subject, Glendale’s outside consultant and legal counsel have explained these rulings and their implications for cities with aesthetic and proliferation concerns related to wireless towers.
When Glendale Organized Against Cell Towers formed last year, the core committee contacted a Windsor Hills/View Park group which had been fighting a cell tower installation in the middle of its neighborhood. Part of unincorporated LA County and in Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ 2nd District, the neighborhood shared resources with Glendale and this year prevailed as the county denied the disputed permit application.